The New SMB Trend: Managed Print Services
Printing is a very important industrial process especially for small and medium businesses (SMBs). Every office aims at getting professional output through reliable and cost effective printing machines although there are quite a number of challenges that come with printer hardware. Most of the purchasing of printers by SMBs is done independent from other supplies and this result in disruption of core activities through manual involvement of staff. This has led most SMBs to turn their focus to managed print services to get rid of the cumbersome tasks and reduce unnecessary costs.
What Are The Printing Challenges Faced by SMBs?
One of the main drawbacks of in-house printing especially since most SMBs aim to produce high quality colour outputs, is the fact that it's very expensive. The costs are just as high when the printing is outsourced to printer bureaux and more so, the process is time consuming. The money spent on printing for most SMBs is usually undetermined and in most cases results in a spiralling of costs which may threaten smooth operations.
For those businesses that rely on printing for critical stages of the business, any downtime may have serious repercussions on productivity. These downtimes may be due to crashing of the machines, running out of toner or even paper jams which may necessitate service calls. This manual setback impacts negatively on the productivity of the staff and the SMB as a whole. There is however hope for smooth functioning of print infrastructure through the emergence of managed print services (MPS).
How Do Managed Print Services Save Money for Small Businesses?
Most businesses are focused on reducing expenses and saving as much as they can especially in tough economic times. This being the case, SMBs may want to know how managed printing services will help their businesses stay competitive with their meager profits relative to overhead expenses. It is clear that when there is a breakdown of a printer in the facility, somebody will have to fix it whether it's an employee, managers or the owner. This will probably be preceded by a telephone call to an IT specialist for troubleshooting purposes and finding a solution. The longer the involved person is committed to solving the problem, the more the money and time lost on unutilized effort.
What are Managed Printing Services?
There are provisions for printing that are relatively cost effective for the fact that they entail minimal involvement of the staff hence fostering productivity. One of the main benefits of the service is the reduction in costs as purchase of hardware and attached operational costs are replaced by lease-based agreements. In addition, the owner gets to exercise more control and convenience since they need not worry about orders for printing supplies or worry about time and money lost on printer activities.
Since there are no orders to be made and equipment to be fixed when business printer needs are being handled by an expert, there is less need for concern. Furthermore, through single monthly payments there are more predictable costs helping SMBs to budget accurately basing on the predefined invoices. The ordering process can also be consolidated into one contract hence minimizing the need for separate suppliers and services.
There is also enhanced and automated ordering with timely delivery of output which prevents stockpiling. Through elaborate billing and management reporting it is easier for the SMBs to generate reports of the consumption patterns for users and devices. This means there is more transparency and control leading to increased staff productivity.
What is the Impact on Productivity for Actual Users?
Most of the SMBs that have incorporated MPS into their systems have realized some significant benefits, most notably being the reduction is time wasted in printer repairs. The impact on cost has been relatively less due to the fact that print usage is unmonitored. This is an indication that there is poor or lack of access to proper management tools for reporting on usage and cost. This assessment is also not offered in basic MPS although it is crucial for understanding the output by device and user. SMBs are therefore encouraged to take advantage of the new managed printing services with report portals in order to increase visibility for usage and costs.
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